A Copper Christmas | The Copper Clam

A Copper Christmas | The Copper Clam

Nesting within the Regency Arches of Brighton seafront, you’ll find relative restaurant newcomer, The Copper Clam. The family owners opened their doors in the summer of 2016, offering freshly caught seafood, as well as local meat and vegetables. Having heard great things so far, I was thrilled to be invited down to check out the Christmas menu and new offerings*.

First impressions

The first thing you’ll notice upon entering The Copper Clam is the gorgeous exposed brickwork and arched windows. The brick was uncovered as part of the restaurant’s renovation, a remnant of the past when these arches would have housed the vessels of local fishermen – so a very fitting destination for local seafood.

Two small dining rooms are decorated with flowers, slate grey colours and copper finishes, with the gleaming copper bar twinkling at one end of the room. It has a cosy, intimate feel, the perfect place for some cocktails whilst looking out to West Pier.

Exposed brick and arched windows

A Copper Christmas

I joined a small group of local foodies and writers, where we got started by learning to make cocktails with cocktail waiter, Julien. With over 100 spirits behind the bar, Julien can create a bespoke cocktail based on your taste, meaning almost no cocktail will be the same! A whole variety came out of our group, and it was a lot of fun shaking it up ourselves. My cocktail was gin based, using Foxhole gin, cointreau, mandarin liqueur and a dash of bee pollen.

The good news is that you can get in on a 10 minute cocktail making session, available at £10 and a great idea whilst waiting for your meal – plus a completely unique cocktail made by your own hands. Please note that this applies to group bookings only, so make sure you book to avoid disappointment!

If you prefer wine with your meal, I would strongly recommend trying the house options. The Copper team believe that a house wine should represent your offering well, rather than be the “cheap option” that many other restaurants stock. Three French options are available – a Carignan Syrah, Grenache Merlot and Vermentino Colombard.

Shaking up my cocktail with Julien

Finishing touches with mandarin liqueur

Next, and by this point it’s safe to say we were ready for it, we moved onto tasting the food. Several dishes offered a sneak preview of some of their Christmas dishes – pork tenderloin with chestnuts, pistachio and moscato liqueur, casino oysters and octopus with saffron.

Each dish was incredibly flavoursome, I loved the pork with chestnut and pistachio but was really pleasantly surprised by the oysters too! Baked and served with Tabasco, they had a hot peppery kick and were really quite moreish.

Pork tenderloin

Casino oysters

Octopus with saffron

Additionally, we sampled some new additions to the main menu: scallops with cauliflower puree and bacon jam, vegan tomato and leek risotto and three different desserts!

The scallops were absolutely divine, and just perfectly cooked. From now on I only ever want to eat them with bacon jam, it was that game changing. The risotto was another pleasant surprise – always a fan of risotto but never having eaten a vegan one, it was warming and creamy just as it should be.

My favourite of the three desserts had to be the chocolate panna cotta. I’m a sucker for chocolatey desserts, so it was perfect to indulge in.

Scallops and bacon jam

Vegan tomato and leek risotto

Chocolate panna cotta

Third place?

I came away from my evening at The Copper Clam feeling somewhat giddy; yes, a considerable part of that was due to the amount of alcohol consumed, but I felt very excited to talk about the menu and hopefully visit again soon myself.

I’ve been suggesting The Copper Clam to friends looking for a Christmas meal with a twist, but I think The Copper Clam will really bring that cosy, festive feeling too. Plus… bacon jam scallops.

Where are you going for your Christmas meals this year? I’d love to hear your plans in the comments!

*I was invited to The Copper Clam to try the menu in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own, as always.

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